Temperature regulation of seed dormancy in Vernonia galamensis
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The seeds of Vernonia galamensis (Cass.) Less. contain 35-45% of triglyceride oil rich in vernolic acid, a naturally epoxidized fatty acid with low viscosity. Naturally epoxidized, vernolic acid is a potentially useful raw material for manufacturing nonozone depleting paints and coatings. Exploitation of V. galamensis as a crop could be potentially hampered by ill understood seed dormancy characteristics. Besides, seed viability assessments via a germination test are not possible in the absence of an appropriate dormancy release protocol. To address this problem, the seeds of two subsp (subsp nairobiensis and subsp afromontana var. gibbosa) harvested at the point of natural dispersal were subjected to chilling and incubation temperature treatments with a view to developing appropriate dormancy release procedure. The results revealed that chilling fully imbibed seeds for at least two weeks at 5oC can be used to overcome seed dormancy prior to incubating at 30/25 or 25/17oC.